Use this simple, but amazing, thrift shopping hack and you’ll learn to see thrifted finds in an exciting new way. One basic tool makes all the difference.
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Have you ever walked into a thrift store and didn’t even know how to find a great deal?
Random items are everywhere and if you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to know what’s worth getting and what’s better left on the shelf or rack.
Prices are usually good in thrift stores, but getting a great deal is far more than just a good price tag.
Your Thrift Shopping BFF
If there’s one single thing to keep in mind when you shop, it’s this:
Almost anything can be transformed with paint!
This may seem like a simple concept, but it’s a basic thrift shopping hack that can make all the difference.
When you move into a new house, what’s the first thing you want to do?
Paint, of course!
Paint has the amazing ability to freshen, update, and totally change the mood and feeling of a room. And it can do the very same thing for thrift finds.
In fact, most things you find in thrift stores are desperately outdated anyway. Paint is your #1 tool for updating these given-up-on pieces. Think of it as your thrift shopping BFF!
With that in mind, you can train yourself to totally ignore finishes when you shop. Instead, you can look for specific shapes, sizes, textures, function, or material.
If you’re more visually oriented (like me), it may take a little practice to train your brain. I’m drawn to beautiful colors and let’s face it – a lot of what you find in thrift stores doesn’t fit that description.
But that’s totally okay because we can indulge in color on the paint aisles of home improvement and craft stores!
Here’s a simple project that shows you what a difference paint can make.
I found this ceramic trivet at my favorite thrift store a few months ago. It was just $4, and wasn’t that bad of a piece at all. It was just that blank face that needed some attention (in my upcycling opinion).
So let’s take a look at how our simple tool – paint – can make a nice difference:
First, I chose a stencil. This arabesque stencil fit nearly perfectly – and it’s gorgeous too. It fit the style of the trivet perfectly.
Instead of a basic painted stencil design, I decided to try something a little different and add some texture. I blended a little paint with modeling paste and blended it together until I got a nice shade.
To create the stenciled design, just swipe the mixture across the stencil with a pallet knife and scrape away the excess. You can lift the stencil right away and clean it up while the textured paint begins to dry.
Adding texture to the paint extends the drying time, so be prepared for that when you use it.
Paint Changes Everything
Now the once-plain trivet has a glowing personality – all because of the power of paint!
This was a pretty simple project, but paint can have an even greater dramatic effect on thrifted pieces when you paint the entire project. Here’s some of my favorites:
So the next time you go thrift shopping, remember this:
The finish is usually irrelevant because you’ve got the power of paint!
Look beyond the current color or finish and imagine the possibilities.
Want to show off your shopping savvy? Visit our new Etsy shop for our Bargain Shopper Stencil to make signs, embellish shopping bags, or decorate your amazing thrift store finds!
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